Monday, October 31, 2005

Going Away Brunch

Yesterday was the big brunch I’ve been talking about. We had family and friends over to catch up on life and wish Sharron luck on her upcoming adventure. She’s off to Chile to teach English. There were eighteen of us in all, ranging in age from 5 ½ (our niece Katie dressed in her Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz Halloween costume) to 80+ (Uncle Eddie) and the rest of us in between, including Coco (not sure how old she is) my cousin Arlene’s Basset Hound. The weather was glorious – couldn’t have asked for better – sun shining brightly and warm enough to be outside without a jacket.

It always is great to get together with people you care about, to catch up on what’s been going on with each of them, to feel connected even though life is so crazy, rushy with personal daily commitments. Somehow for me it’s also a mental link back to when I was little and my mother and aunts did the organizing of such dos. It adds a wonderful sense of belonging. Growing up we used to do this weekly. Too often these days my cousins and I (there are 28 of us now, including partners) reconnect only at weddings, funerals and other major life altering events. To be fair, growing up most of us lived in Montreal. My Auntie Shelley and her family lived in Cornwall, Ontario about an hour or so drive from Montreal so we saw them frequently. Only one of my mother’s siblings moved far afield – to exotic (at least to the rest of us) Miami. Now, though, we’re spread out all over the continent, with family in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Washington State, Florida, Georgia, Quebec and Ontario. So it was a treat to at least connect with all of us who live in and around Toronto and include my honey’s brother, wife and daughter.

In an earlier post I mentioned the menu I thought I would make but suggested that it would probably change. As it turns out, not too much. So without further ado, here’s the final menu and some recipes.

Going Away Brunch Menu
Mushroom & Spinach Frittata
Crab Cakes with chipotle mayo

Tuna salad
Smoked Salmon
Mini Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins

Bagels, Walnut Raisin Bread
Cheese platter: Brie, soft goat cheese rolled in Italian herbs, cream cheese

Tomatoes & Hearts of Palm with Rice Wine Drizzle
Pasta & Roasted Vegetable Salad
Chickpea Salad
Romaine and everything but the kitchen sink salad

Roasted potato and garlic salad
Auntie Shelley’s “Nut cake without the nuts”
(secret ingredient is baby prunes)
Arlene’s mocha torte (Katie helped me slice it and ate many of the mocha balls off the top as payment)
Ellen and Wendy brought a beautiful coffee cake with a praline topping
Fruit salad with fresh mint and lavender honey syrup

Some of the recipes will follow in separate posts.


Shauna said...

Lovely, Ruth. I think those gatherings with families or dear friends are when food feels most primal. We don't need to impress with it. We just need to feed each other.

Wonderful shots of the spread.

I'm sure you'll miss your daughter. And I'm sure she'll miss your food!

LisaSD said...

Oh my! That looks like a lot of work. Glad you enjoyed it, and I bet everyone else did too...